How To Become a Private Detective
A private detective, a private investigator, or covert investigation agent, is someone who can hire people, teams or NGOs to undertake investigative investigations on their behalf. Private detectives often work on cases for lawyers in criminal and civil matters. They can also work on corporate and investment related cases as well. Some private detectives work on a freelance basis, earning a set rate for each case they finish. Others work in larger law firms and large companies, and carry out research and administrative duties for the bigger firms.
Private detectives usually start off their legal profession through the ranks of the police force. They may get specialized training at some point. From there, they can apply to special private detective agencies that will train them in the different techniques they will need to know. Private detectives usually work independently, conducting investigations in the comfort of their own home. However, because of the nature of their work, they should know how to effectively perform surveillance and follow-ups. This is something that comes naturally to some detectives and is not taught in some law enforcement institutions.
There are various methods of surveillance that private detectives can use. Some of these include installing hidden cameras, video cameras, GPS trackers, cell phones, personal computers and other electronic gadgets, bug detectors, and voice recorders. The more sophisticated and high-tech a private investigator’s tools are, the more dangerous his job is likely to be.
Private investigators may rely on their skills to conduct surveillance, especially on people who they have a clear feeling of having no control over such as business partners, romantic partners, and employees. They can also use surveillance to catch someone cheating, like their partner. They may do background investigations on prospective employees, like landlords or employers. Some private detectives specialize in corporate and business investigations. Whatever their area of expertise, investigators must have extensive technical knowledge about the various surveillance equipment they are using.
A private detective needs to follow-up on surveillance activities with the help of a supervisor. He needs to have a detailed report for submission to his bosses. This includes all findings gathered during the investigations, photos taken by surveillance, audio and video tapes, and any other information that is pertinent to the case. In most countries, private detectives are required to inform their superiors about their investigations so that they can conduct further investigation and follow-ups.
Aside from gathering information, private detectives have to take time to process it correctly. Processed evidence is then used in court cases and can help prosecutors nail their target. New investigators must be able to gather information and follow-up on these evidences.
Aside from the legal requirement, private detectives must comply with state licensing requirements. Each state has its own set of private detective requirements. Most states require private detectives and investigators to pass a background check or an ethics test. Private investigators may be required to obtain their license from the state’s crime lab. The cost of obtaining a license varies from state to state.
Private detectives and investigators may use a variety of methods to investigate computer crimes. In some instances, detectives may utilize a computer forensics investigation to trace the whereabouts and activities of an individual who stole a company or state of entity’s confidential documents. Computer investigators may use private detectives to trace email addresses associated with cyber stalking and other online harassment. They may also track down hackers who leak company or individual information.
Private detectives and investigators offer many services besides investigations. They may offer services to document and preserve personal and business records. These services are important to businesses, as these records provide proof of dates of transactions and who conducted them. They can also be used to establish connections between people and criminal activities. This means detectives will often interview suspects to determine the identity of people involved in computer crimes and recover stolen property. They can also conduct background checks for corporations to ensure their employees are not involved in criminal activity.
Some amateur juvenile detectives work as bounty hunters. Detectives that work for a private agency or the police may pursue fugitive teens, criminals and convicts. Bounty hunters track down criminals through advertisements in newspapers and flyers posted in public areas. Sometimes they work directly for the police by tracking down criminals through their radar. Their services may include apprehension, recovery and return of prize won, cash reward or vehicle.
A person can become a private detective by completing a training program for up to five years at a community college or vocational school. After this initial training, a private detective can pursue any number of investigative techniques. They can either start out working for a established agency, work for themselves, or work for a private detective company independently. Regardless of where a person begins their investigation, they must complete a clean criminal record to remain qualified to work for a law enforcement agency.